Saturday, November 8, 2008

LOSING HERSELF



The acrylics were calling me. (I'm being a little dramatic.) They have been neglected as of late, taking a backseat to my other favs. Thought I'd give them a try on a 4x4 gessoboard so that I didn't have to deal with warping paper tonight. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do, other than play with paint, so to get started I glued a few stray pieces of text to the board. Funny how unplanned acts develop into something bigger. So true to life.



Started with two safe colors: quinacridone nickel azo gold and transparent yellow iron oxide. I say safe because I am one of those cautious dabblers that uses the same colors over, and over, and over. Ann Baldwin had provided us with a lovely selection of deeper hues in our abstract collage class at Art& Soul, so out came jenkins green. I am not a green or blue user, but I figured I'd take a chance and slap a bit on somewhere for contrast (or is that complementary??). I did and I was pleased with the look. Then decided to use some leftover transparencies and attempted to transfer the image of the woman to the whole shebang. Transfers being what they are, only part of it came out. But although it looked somewhat ghostly, it wasn't a total disaster.

A title started to form in my mind, initially because of the faulty transfer. She looked like she was fading out. I applied more colors and a telltale king in the upper right corner. And so began the thought that these women, whose images frequently find their way into our work, often had very hard, demanding and grueling lives. They were singularly devoted to their families, their homes, and the relentless task of just trying to survive. Our grandmothers, greatgrandmothers, great aunts. How must they have felt? Did they, like we, feel overwhelmed and unappreciated at times? Surely they must have.

It has often occurred to me over the past several months that a majority of us feel we have been overshadowed by all that is our daily lives. Our work, pursuits, families . . . love them as we may, they exact a toll on our sense of self, our sense of individuality. We ignore it at first and stay busy with things that require our attention and energies. But then, at some point, we can no longer ignore it. We do not want to lose ourselves. And so we embark on a journey of self discovery. A journey that is colorful, enriching, and satifying . . . and somewhat expensive (Lordy, the cost of art supplies!!). We make messes, we make mistakes, we make art . . . and we make friends. And in the process, we find that thing within ourselves again that makes us feel worthwhile and gives us a simple sense of fulfillment. How wonderful that it is so.

Ciao for now.

Shelly

9 comments:

Lady Di said...

I love what you wrote in this post. I've been reading the book Take Flight by Kelly Rae Robets over the past couple of days and the journey of "self discovery" has definitely been top of mind ... how funny that someone on the other side of the world is experiencing something similar to you. Love how brave you are to try new things with your art and love your blog.
Diana :)

Viola said...

Your work looks fabulous, Shelly! Great job! Have a wonderful sunday! :o)

ArtSnark said...

Wonderful piece, Shelly, & well said!

crafty capers said...

Gorgeous colours and fab image transfer. Love it, well done! On a day when I am drowning in laundry and ironing and argumentative children your comments have really got me thinking :-) Kate

AztecMichelle said...

Great piece, Shelly.

Also love your sentiments - I was retrenched recently (aka "loosing my job"), and even though I wanted to leave (to have more crafting time), there is still that sense that that part of me is lost...

I agree with you on your thoughts about our ancestors - they had much less choice that we have... and still, here we are, wanting more time to do OUR things!

Michelle Brown
Melbourne Australia

Stempelchaotin said...

Wow this is very impressive.
Amazing piece of art Shelly. Love them.

Cindy said...

LOVE the art Shelly but oh your post has touched me deep.. amen to that!

ArtSnark said...

Thanks for playing Shelly :) Look forward to your random thoughts & Once 2 more folks comment, I'll add a new post linking to your site

Dayna Collins said...

I love the piece you created and what you wrote. It was just what I needed this afternoon. Thank you.